Much ado about nothing: nude paintings can stay


Fourteen nude paintings on the walls of Purmerend town hall don’t have to go after all, Purmerend councillors decided on Thursday evening.

‘If you start an exhibition you should stand by it’, VVD councillor Bart van Elden, who supported a motion to let the paintings stay, told NH Nieuws.

The 14 offending nude portraits of local women are part of an exhibition called Ode to the Beemster which celebrates the union of the Beemster with Purmerend and was supposed to run until the end of the month.

On Thursday, the artist was told his paintings were no longer welcome because they made members of the public ‘feel uneasy’.

How many people complained was not clear but a spokesman for the council said there had been ‘enough’. ‘Art can stimulate and lead to discussion but it mustn’t hinder people from coming together in a public space,’ the spokesman said.

Artist Jeroen Hermkens said the idea ‘a Purmerend vice police decided what can and cannot be shown’ is ridiculous.

On hearing his ‘most explicit’ paintings had to go Hermkens said he would remove them all on Friday. It is not clear if he will still do so now.

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